Imagine not moving any muscles other than your hands and your eyes for hours on end. “Why should I do that?” you ask. Because if you are like many of us, you are at a desk as many as 8 hours or more every day and, if you didn’t already know it, the sedentary lifestyle is not a healthy one.
Being sedentary can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity (yes, because chances are you call out for lunch to be delivered and eat at your desk rather than take a break and a walk to pick it up at the local deli, right?) and, of course, a loss of muscle and bone strength. Learning to move, even at your desk, will help you become healthier regardless of how much time you need to sit during the day.
Let’s start with stretching before we get to exercise. By learning some good stretching techniques, you can get more limber and less stiff before you start some easy to do exercises to help combat “spread of the seat” syndrome. 😉
I try to move around but my back and neck get stiff anyway
Sitting properly is important and can help with sore backs and stiff necks. First and foremost – DON’T SLOUCH (remember your mother telling you that when you were a kid? She was right!) Keep your lower back pressed against the chair (be sure you have a good chair with lumbar support or a lumbar pillow will also help).Try to keep your feet flat on the floor, too, to relieve pressure on your back.
OK, that helps some, but still…I hurt at the end of the day!
Here are some easy stretches you can do right at your desk during the day to keep your muscles moving:
- Palms to the ceiling: intertwine the fingers on both of your hands and stretch high above you, keeping palms facing out.
- Ear to shoulder: Sit up and drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. Hold and repeat on the other side.
- Chin to chest: drop your chin down toward your chest and, easy does it, roll your head from side to side.
- Shrug: Raise both shoulders toward the ears and hold…then release and repeat.
- Stretch those glutes: With your right ankle on your left knee, gently press your hand on the right knee a few times. Repeat on the other side.
- Side bends: Just like at the gym – extend your right arm as high as you can and reach over toward the left side as far as you can, stretch and hold. Repeat on the other side.
- Hug your knees: Bend your right knee and lift your leg, grabbing it with your arms and pulling it in as close as you can to your chest. Hold, release and repeat on the other side.
Remember, a healthy lifestyle starts with a good attitude and fresh breath, too. So be sure that you begin each day by brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel, grab a healthy breakfast and then get to work. Stretch during the day and…you might just think about going out to pick up that lunch! Next week, we will step it up a notch and give you some ideas for easy exercises you can do at your desk.👍